Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS4167266 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 05/813,832
Publication dateSep 11, 1979
Filing dateJul 8, 1977
Priority dateJul 8, 1977
Publication number05813832, 813832, US 4167266 A, US 4167266A, US-A-4167266, US4167266 A, US4167266A
InventorsBenjamin Tabicman, Howard Rapp
Original AssigneeBenjamin Tabicman, Howard Rapp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Indoor golf driving range
US 4167266 A
An indoor golf driving range within a pressurized tent cover having a target backstop in the center with a driving range on each side with a system for collecting and returning balls to a specific point for reuse. The target is positioned and marked to show if the ball hitting the target has the proper loft with the particular hitting club used. The target backstop may be electrically wired to indicate by lights where it is contacted by a driven golf ball.
Previous page
Next page
We claim:
1. An indoor golf driving course comprising a flexible building maintained in erected condition by air pressure retained therein, a backstop extended from the floor to ceiling and positioned toward the center of said building, a driving range extending from each side of said backstop toward the corresponding end of said building, a tee area located near each said corresponding end; said backstop being marked on both sides in accordance with the distance from said tee area to show correct loft of a golf ball hit by a given club at said tee area; and means to return to a given point said balls that were driven from said tee area toward said backstop.
2. The course of claim 1 wherein the surface from said tee area slopes downwardly toward said backstop, and a channel is provided at the bottom of said backstop that slopes toward and terminating in a pit at one end of said backstop at said given point.
3. The course of claim 2 wherein said pit is adapted to receive a container for golf balls flowing therein from said channel.
4. The course of claim 2 wherein a second channel slopes downwardly from said pit and extends back toward the corresponding end of said building.
5. The course of claim 4 wherein said backstop is electrically wired to indicate by lights where said backstop is contacted by a driven golf ball.
6. An indoor golf driving course comprising a backstop within a building, a driving range extending from said backstop toward one end of said building, a tee area located near said one end; said backstop being marked in accordance with the distance from said tee area to show correct loft of a golf ball hit by a given club at said tee area and being electrically wired to indicate by lights where said backstop is contacted by a driven golf ball; and means to return said balls to a given point that were driven from said tee area toward said backstop.

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in indoor golf driving ranges and more particularly seeks to provide a driving range with ball return using a backstop that is positioned and marked to determine when hit by a driven ball whether the ball was correctly stroked according to the selected club.

Golf driving ranges are commonly located outside because the distance needed for the longest driving wood is up to 300 yards, which would be very expensive to cover. However, much enjoyment and practice can be accomplished at a driving range without the facilities of a full golf course.

Tennis courts are quite often indoors, e.g., covered by an air-supported tent because the space requirement for tennis is much less than for golf driving ranges.

It is desirable to know without benefit of a third party or expensive golf pro whether the ball has been correctly hit, particularly when using a driving range for practice purposes.


It is an object of this invention to provide a short, driving range with a backstop, all being under cover.

It is a further object to optionally have a common backstop to which dual ranges are directed from either side.

It is another object to have the backstop positioned and marked whereby noting where the driven ball strikes same will indicate whether the ball was properly hit with the particular club selected by the player, thereby permitting the player to adjust his swing or change his club to secure proper results.

It is also an object to provide automatic indication of where the ball hits as well as automatic collection and return of the balls to the player's driving area or to the manager for reuse or resale.


A backstop extends from the floor to ceiling in a building with a driving range on at least one side extending to the tees or driving areas. The backstop is appropriately marked to show where a ball should strike if properly lofted by the selected club. In addition, the floor surface is arranged for the balls to be automatically returned to a point where an operator or the driver can regain the balls. For space economy, the backstop may be centered in the building with a driving range on both sides extending toward the ends of the building.

With these and other objects, the nature of which are apparent, the invention will be more fully understood by reference to the drawings, the accompanying detailed description, and the appended claims.


In the Drawings

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an indoor double-driving range constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is an end view taken from the left end of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of one side of the backstop; and

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic chart showing the height at which a golf ball should strike the backstop at given distances from the tee for various clubs if properly hit by the player.

As illustrated, there is shown in FIG. 1 an inflated building 36 divided into halves by a backstop 37 with each half having a long surface 38 sloping toward the backstop, a tee area 39, steps 11 and entrance area 12.

The player enters the entrance area 12 through door 13 and may stay in this area for drinks, food or other waiting activity prior to or after driving golf balls. Moreover, a putting green 14 may be provided in this area. When desired, the player 16 may mount steps 11 to the individual tee 17 in tee area 39 to be provided with a bucket 18 of golf balls 19.

The player having chosen any given club 21 drives the ball toward and against the backstop 37. The balls generally drop into channels 22, or if the ball falls on sloping surface 38, they roll into channel 22 and thence along the sloped channels 22 into pit 23 which is provided with a slot 24 at the bottom under which a bucket 18 may be set to collect balls.

Although bucket 18 and slot 24 are shown outside of the exterior wall of building 36, the slot may be reversed so that everything is within the building 36 with a small door for the operator to reach the bucket.

In the alternative, a channel 26 may run from slot 24 back to each entrance area. Either channel 26 may be blocked at slot 24 so that the balls at any given time run to one entrance area only. In addition to gravity returning the golf balls, mechanical means may be utilized to collect and return balls.

FIG. 3 shows the detailed design of the backdrop 37 with the areas where a properly hit ball will strike from the appropriate club with irons being shown on the left, woods at left center, irons again to the right of the woods and the actual height in feet at the right margin of the backstop. The different areas may be further distinguished by different colors. In addition, an electrical system may be installed to the backstop to make contact and light appropriate lights for the given area when hit by a ball.

The chart 27 shown in FIG. 4 can be used to determine the spacing of the backstop from the tee and the level at which to put the various club levels for a given space. The driving face of clubs have a standardized lofting surface which determines the lift according to the following table:

______________________________________Club         Loft        Average Distance______________________________________Wood         10-12                    220 yards3 Wood       16-18                    210 yards4 Wood       19-21                    200 yards5 Wood       22-24                    190 yards2 Iron       20  180 yards3 Iron       23  170 yards4 Iron       27  160 yards5 Iron       31  150 yards6 Iron       35  140 yards7 Iron       39  130 yards8 Iron       42  120 yards9 Iron       47  110 yardsPitching Wedge        54   90 yardsSand Wedge   58√   70 yards______________________________________
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3687457 *May 20, 1971Aug 29, 1972Sports Management Services IncGolf practice device and game
US3897947 *Oct 11, 1973Aug 5, 1975Jr Russell H HeffleyGame apparatus
GB325441A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4468034 *Feb 16, 1983Aug 28, 1984Duclos Clovis RGolf club loft and lie angle indicating device
US4541632 *May 1, 1984Sep 17, 1985Tillery Thomas HGolf ball teeing apparatus
US5496033 *Jul 1, 1992Mar 5, 1996Thompson; Michael A.Indoor golf facility
US9597575 *Sep 18, 2014Mar 21, 2017Brendan O'GradyStorage at indoor golf driving range
US20050236027 *Jan 30, 2004Oct 27, 2005David GoldwitzPortable shelter for golfers
US20150018110 *Sep 18, 2014Jan 15, 2015Brendan O'GradyStorage at Indoor Golf Driving Range
U.S. Classification473/154, 473/168, 473/166
International ClassificationA63B67/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B67/02
European ClassificationA63B67/02